Thursday, January 14, 2010

My small group is doing a Bible in a year reading program. So, I'm going to do a light commentary on my daily readings:

Job 1-2: Job is the oldest book in the Bible, and it amazes me that this is the first book God inspired and gave His people. It raises some of the thorniest issues in theology, yet God let pre-modern people know and grapple with this story. I love how God and the Bible are unafraid of difficult issues; it shows a supreme confidence it the truthfulness of the underlying story and God.

In Job 2, Job clearly attributes his losses to God (God gives and God takes away). However, the chapter notes that Job was without fault. He must have been without fault because he did not find fault with God allowing Job's things to be taken from him. This actually represents the orthodox Christian answer to the most difficult question of if there is a God, why is there evil in the world. The answer is that God did ordain evil to be in the world (or else He isn't sovereign), but we also must believe that God is blameless in evil's presence in the world; God does not do evil.

Again, an amazingly sophisticated book Job is, and written something like 6,000 years ago.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Edith Wharton's 'The Dilettante' separates spirit from soul.
This article by Ross Douthat is exactly what I think of the Brit Hume/Tiger Woods controversey.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A new blog you might like:
A new blog you might like:

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The gospel is like a great lover and wretched street girl who had been abused by all her old boyfriends. The lover loved the street girl and said to her "if you will believe that my love is better than any other's, I will give you my love forever and never take it away."
The gospel is like a rich man who by his intelligence amassed a great fortune, and a poor man who had become poor through his own foolishness. The rich man had pity on the poor man and said, "If you will acknowledge that I have been wise with my money and you have been foolish, I will give you so much wealth that you will never be poor again."

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Just War Theory has two sets of criteria. The first establishing jus ad bellum, the right to go to war; the second establishing jus in bello, right conduct within war.

Jus ad bellum

Just cause

The reason for going to war needs to be just and cannot therefore be solely for recapturing things taken or punishing people who have done wrong; innocent life must be in imminent danger and intervention must be to protect life. A contemporary view of just cause was expressed in 1993 when the US Catholic Conference said: "Force may be used only to correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic human rights of whole populations."

Comparative justice

While there may be rights and wrongs on all sides of a conflict, to override the presumption against the use of force, the injustice suffered by one party must significantly outweigh that suffered by the other. Some theorists such as Brian Orend omit this term, seeing it as fertile ground for exploitation by bellicose regimes.

Legitimate authority

Only duly constituted public authorities may wage war.

Right intention

Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose—correcting a suffered wrong is considered a right intention, while material gain or maintaining economies is not.

Probability of success

Arms may not be used in a futile cause or in a case where disproportionate measures are required to achieve success;

Last resort

Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted or are clearly not practical. It may be clear that the other side is using negotiations as a delaying tactic and will not make meaningful concessions.


The anticipated benefits of waging a war must be proportionate to its expected evils or harms. This principle is also known as the principle of macro-proportionality, so as to distinguish it from the jus in bello principle of proportionality.

A just War is one that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects or to restore what it has seized unjustly.
In modern terms just war is waged in terms of self defence or in defence of another with sufficient provocation a nation could justify strike first in self defence or defence of an innocent third party. must have the right intention.

Jus in bello

Once war has begun, just war theory also directs how combatants are to act:(Jus in bello)


Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of distinction. The acts of war should be directed towards enemy combatants, and not towards non-combatants caught in circumstances they did not create. The prohibited acts include bombing civilian residential areas that include no military target and committing acts of terrorism or reprisal against ordinary civilians.


Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of proportionality. An attack cannot be launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality).

Military necessity

Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of minimum force. An attack or action must be intended to help in the military defeat of the enemy, it must be an attack on a military objective, and the harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. This principle is meant to limit excessive and unnecessary death and destruction.